My journey so far

This section is a bit of a story that just whizzes through my journey so far. It starts in about 2017 and ends in May 2020 when the experimenting with platforms ended and I settled on Home Assistant. 7 articles and probably won’t take more that 10 minutes or so to read them all.

  • Where it all starts
    Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s usually Alexa and a couple of plugs. That’s how everyone starts. Everyone says that that’s all they need. Everyone […]
  • The earliest years
    Reading Time: 2 minutes LightwaveRF After the 2 Wemo smart plugs, things started to get serious for me. I dived straight in with LightwaveRF […]
  • The Hive Project
    Reading Time: 2 minutes As I said in my previous post, I got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about Hive – […]
  • The Pi era
    Reading Time: 2 minutes I’ve been messing around with Pis for a while. The Hive project was probably the first “serious” thing I did. […]
  • SmartThings came
    Reading Time: 2 minutes I had seen lots of things about Samsung SmartThings (ST). One of the things I really liked was ActionTiles, a […]
  • When is smart smart?
    Reading Time: 3 minutes As I said in a previous post, I have views on when smart is actually smart and when you just […]
  • A brand new dawn
    Reading Time: 2 minutes So far, we’ve seen a few failed experiments. I’m not afraid of failing. Everything I’ve done has taught me something […]

Tips and Tutorials

This section focuses on stuff that will help you. It’ll start with how to choose your first system. After that, it will focus on Home Assistant and the ecosystem that I use to run my smart home. This will change over time as I add more devices or revisit something I’ve done in the past that might help you.

  • Really Simple Home Security
    Reading Time: 3 minutes A few caveats before we start: This is DIY home security at its simplest. It’s not a replacement for a […]
  • Motion Detection Camera
    Reading Time: 11 minutes Ok, now for something a bit different, and this will be a bit more in depth as a tutorial rather […]
  • Node-RED Dashboard
    Reading Time: 4 minutes Ok, in a previous post about dashboards I’ve mentioned HADashboard which runs under appdaemon on Home Assistant. I’ve really liked […]
  • The Mini PC Saga
    Reading Time: 4 minutes Don’t get me wrong, I think the Pi is a brilliant piece of kit. For me, the Pi 4 with […]
  • Plex
    Reading Time: 3 minutes This one’s a relatively new departure for me but I’ve been well impressed so far. I’m sure most people have […]
  • Modes vs scenes
    Reading Time: 3 minutes In a previous post about SmartThings I mentioned that one of the things I found useful was to have the […]
  • Motion – on… no motion – off
    Reading Time: 2 minutes One common requirement with home automation is to turn a light on with motion and then off again after a […]
  • Dashboard overview
    Reading Time: 3 minutes Most of my devices are controlled by automations. Lights come on depending on light levels and/or motion. They can be […]
  • deCONZ and Node-RED
    Reading Time: 3 minutes This was a bit of a nightmare for something that should have been really simple. I was being thick and […]
  • Smart switches vs smart bulbs
    Reading Time: 4 minutes This is a well split camp in home automation groups and the subject of many long threads wherever you look. […]
  • When automations get pesky
    Reading Time: 3 minutes This is a neat little trick I recently set up in my home office. At the moment, there are 2 […]
  • Talking to devices
    Reading Time: 4 minutes This is where it starts to get a little more technical and a little more interesting. There are several different […]
  • Home automation platforms
    Reading Time: 3 minutes The purpose of this site/blog is to get those who are just starting in home automation into a journey that […]
  • Choosing a home automation system
    Reading Time: 3 minutes In a roundabout way, choosing a home automation system is one of the most frequently asked questions I see. This […]